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Your Vision After Cataract Surgery

Will You Need to Wear Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses?

woman with long hair in black and white vertical slideFollowing cataract surgery, a number of options are available to provide you with clear vision, the main benefit of cataract surgery. Advanced lens implants may reduce your dependence upon eyeglasses and contact lenses, or you may prefer eyewear.

To explain, during cataract surgery, your eye doctor will concentrate on two specific issues:

  1. Resolving cloudy vision caused by cataracts
  2. Vision problems caused by the lens power and shape of your eye

Private insurance plans and Medicare typically cover the expense of cataract surgery, along with a single-focus intraocular lens implant – in which a clear lens replaces your opaque lens. However, as your eye doctor performs this surgery, you can also opt to have an additional procedure to improve your vision focus. This can eliminate or reduce your need for eyewear.

Ultimately, you and your eye doctor will decide together upon the most appropriate choice for your personal needs. To make the right decision, it is important to be informed how each option will affect your vision. Here are a few case examples to give you a clearer picture of the possibilities:

Mia:

A true bookworm, Mia is always reading when she is not working in data entry. She has healthy eyes with a mild astigmatism and dislikes wearing eyeglasses. She was just diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. After cataract surgery, Mia would be very pleased to reduce her dependence upon eyeglasses.

A perfect choice for Mia would be multifocal contact lenses, which enable near and far focus without any cumbersome eyeglasses.

Another option would be a procedure described as a “corneal relaxing incision”. During her cataract surgery, Mia’s eye doctor would make an additional incision in the cornea to reshape it.

man hiking trail backpackEthan:

Ethan is an avid outdoorsman who has mild astigmatism in both eyes and wears eyeglasses for sharp vision. Recently, he was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. He is not bothered with wearing glasses for reading or close tasks, yet he would love to bike, swim and jog without his prescription glasses.

An ideal vision correction for Ethan would be an intraocular lens implant that resolves astigmatism. Called a toric lens, this implant can focus his distance vision and thereby reduce the need for eyeglasses when engaging in outdoor physical activities. Most likely, he will still need reading glasses to see fine print and the computer screen, as a toric lens does not help with both near and distant vision.

Matthew:

Matthew was never a fan of reading glasses. Therefore, for over 15 years, he has worn monovision contact lenses successfully to provide distance for presbyopia. Monovision lenses correct one eye for distance and one eye for near vision. After his cataract surgery, he would like to continue wearing monovision contacts. However, this is not his only option.

Multifocal lenses can be implanted in both of Matthew’s eyes, thereby giving sharp focus for both near and distance in both eyes. Alternatively, his eye doctor can implant one lens for distance and one for near – following the monovision method. The best candidates for this option are generally patients who are accustomed to wearing monovision lenses, such as Matthew. The final choice is a personal one, based on his preferences.

Jerry:

senior man smilingJerry has worn eyeglasses since he was a young child, and he is the proud owner of many stylish frames. In addition to providing clear eyesight, Jerry’s eyeglasses function as his trademark fashion accessory.

After cataract surgery, he is a good candidate for basic single focus lens implants. These implants will improve Jerry’s visual acuity without eyeglasses, yet he will still need eyewear to focus well on both distance and near tasks. This option is a great match for his personal preferences.

The type of vision correction you choose after your cataract surgery depends upon your ocular condition, individual lifestyle preferences and the professional recommendation of your eye doctor. Quality vision is the objective of every cataract procedure, and there is more than one way to reach this goal!

Avoid Falls & Fractures – Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery isn’t simply about correcting your eyesight, it’s actually a surgery that has been proven to reduce the chances of falling over due to poor vision. A large study conducted by Jama that included over a million Medicare patients who needed cataract surgery, observed that those with cataract surgery have a clear reduced risk for hip fracture compared to those who avoided having cataract surgery.

While providing studies such as these are helpful to determine the need for cataract surgery, it’s not hard to imagine that falling and fractures are often due to poor vision. Even those of us with healthy eyesight face the same risk of tripping over obstacles when we lack up-to-date prescription eyewear.

One of the most important aspects of the study by Jama is that cataract surgery reduces the chances for hip fractures, specifically. Hip fractures are one of the leading causes of illness and death in the elderly, and considering cataract surgery is an important step in securing a long, enjoyable retirement.

Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries in the world because people value their eyesight & understand the major benefits outweigh the low risks involved. Many people have questions about cataract treatment. Speak with one of our ophthalmologists to discuss your particular visual needs & when is the best time for you to consider cataract surgery.

Clear Lens Extraction with Symfony Extended Range IOL

Some patients presenting for Laser Vision Correction are not candidates for the procedure. Others who are candidates are over the age of forty and would need reading glasses even after successful laser surgery that corrects the distance vision. Clear lens extraction with the Symfony IOL (intra-ocular lens) is an option for these patients.

The Symfony IOL is a premium implant we use during cataract surgery to help patients have good distance and near vision without glasses. Cataract surgery involves removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with an IOL implant.

Clear lens extraction involves doing the identical procedure, removing the lens of the eye and replacing it with the Symfony IOL implant. The goal of the procedure is to correct the patients vision so that they do not need glasses for distance or reading. Since the natural lens is removed from the eye, the patient will never get a cataract later in life.

http://www.tecnisiol.com/eu/tecnis-symfony-iol.htm

Are you a pilot or interested in flying but don't have the vision? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Sullivan to discuss how this implant might help you. AOPA learned FAA doctors were enthusiastic about this new lens option, and it was quickly approved.

Visian ICL

Visian ICL

Visian ICL (also known as the implantable collamer lens) — A New Solution For Highly Nearsighted Patients.

ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens)

Introducing a solution for patients with high amounts of nearsightedness. The ICL is a revolutionary refractive lens that can correct vision up to –15 diopters of nearsightedness. The ICL procedure has been repeatedly improved through years of studies and continued refinement. This lens is a posterior chamber implant that is situated behind the iris and in front of the natural crystalline lens. It is also know as a Phakic IOL. The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, which means that a patient has surgery and leaves the same day.

The Surgery

Prior to the surgery a surgeon will make two microscopic holes in the iris. Your eye will be numbed with a light, topical or local anesthetic. Once the eye is numbed the surgeon will make 2 side port incisions and one main temporal incision that is critical to the insertion process. Next the surgeon will insert the ICL through the main temporal incision and place the lens behind the iris and in front of the crystalline lens. This insertion procedure is typically performed one eye at a time. There is very little discomfort and normally no pain associated with the procedure. Some drops or perhaps oral medication may be prescribed and a visit is usually scheduled the day after surgery. Patients will be advised to arrange for someone to drive them to and from surgery.

Are you a Candidate?

Individuals who suffer from extreme nearsightedness will have a solution for their poor vision. The ICL provides an opportunity to those individuals who are not candidates for lasik eye surgery. Some people cannot have lasik for reasons ranging from high prescriptions to thin corneas. The ICL will now give these patients the opportunity to experience the same lifestyle change that lasik has brought to millions.

You’re likely a good candidate for ICL if:

  • You have extreme to moderate nearsightedness
  • You have thin corneas and are not a LASIK candidate
  • You have a history of dry eye
  • You have large pupils

Disclaimer: The intent of this website is to educate users about eye care. Information found on this website is not intended to replace medical advice. Questions about treatment information should be addressed by your physician.

FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve recorded a number of questions over the past few years about intraocular lenses, and why we recommend how toric, multifocal, and accommodative premium lenses outperform the standard lens replacement used in cataract surgery.

Click each question below to show the answer:

I Have Glaucoma: Is Cataract Surgery An Option For Me?

Yes, cataract surgery is possible! In fact, sometimes cataract surgery can lower both elevated eye pressure and glaucoma medications. Contact your Sullivan Ostoich Eye Center eye doctor who can offer you all cataract treatment options, guide you to the top surgeons in your area and provide the best possible eye care for you!

How long does it take to heal?

Each patient is unique and the healing process will be different in each case. Most patients return to their normal work or lifestyle in two to three days. The focusing ability of the lens will not be fully realized for 6 to 8 weeks after the procedure. The eye must re-learn how to focus on objects at various distances in order to see clearly. It is important to discuss your expectation for this lens with your surgeon so that you can better understand the actual healing process.

Can my vision be corrected to 20/20, for both reading & distance?

The crystalens has been designed to focus your eyes at all distances after cataract surgery.

While virtually everyone will experience a significant improvement in their uncorrected vision after surgery, some people will not see 20/20 at all distances. It is interesting to note that many people who have not had surgery are not able to see 20/20 at both near and far even with glasses or contact lenses. This is due to a variety of ocular and physiological problems as well as lifestyle preferences, yet most of these people function quite normally although their vision is reduced.

The two-year clinical trial that supported the FDA approval of the crystalens indicated that 92% of the people enrolled in the study (implanted bilaterally) could see 20/25 or better at distance, 96% could see 20/20 at arm’s length and 73% could see 20/25 at near without glasses or contact lenses.

What is more exciting is that 98% of these people could pass their drivers test, 100% could see their computer and dashboard, read the prices in the supermarket or put on their makeup, and 98% could read the telephone book or newspaper, all without glasses or contact lenses.

It is important to keep in mind that visual acuity is subjective and depends upon each individual’s own ocular and physiological conditions as well as lifestyle preferences. Some patients implanted with the crystalens still require glasses for certain activities. (Courtesy of www.crystalens.com)

What makes the PanOptix lens different from other intraocular lenses?

The PanOptix® IOL is has the unique ability to focus on objects at varying distance without corrective lenses. Standard (single vision) lens implants do not have the ability to provide a full range of vision.

Most people who have single vision lens implants MUST wear glasses for middle and near vision. It was shown in clinical trials that premium lenses significantly improve visual clarity at all distances than patients implanted with a standard lens (36%). 

What is a Toric IOL?

New solutions for patients with astigmatism after cataract surgery!

The doctors of the Sullivan-Ostoich Eye Center are happy to offer multiple intraocular lens implants for after cataract surgery. The Acrysof Toric lens is specifically designed for patients who have a significant amount of astigmatism. In years past, cataract surgery removed the cataract, but a patient with high astigmatism still required glasses for near and distance vision.

The design of the Acrysof Toric lens makes it possible to reduce or eliminate astigmatism and significantly improve uncorrected distance vision.

There is an additional cost for this lens implant.

Again, we strive to make the Acrysof Toric lens affordable for our patients by offering payment options here in our office.If you are a cataract-aged patient and learning about cataract surgery and have astigmatism please make sure to consult us about your lens options after surgery. This new lens makes it possible to reduce astigmatism after cataract surgery.

Please feel free to call us for more information.

What is the PanOptix® IOL lens?

The PanOptix® IOL lens is an intraocular lens used after cataract surgery or as a lens alternative in presbyopic lens exchange. The concept of the lens was engineered with a hinge design to allow the optic, or part of the lens that you see through, to move back and forth as your focus on an image changes.

This lens is permanently implanted with a surgical process and functions in a similar fashion as the natural eye. Once the surgery has been completed your eyes can focus on far or near objects in a comfortable way.

Is there any Clinical Trial Information?

In a clinical study, 129 patients were asked about their experience with the PanOptix® Lens:

  • 99% of people with the PanOptix® Lens would choose the same lens again.
  • 98% of people with the PanOptix® Lens would recommend it to family and friends.

Please contact us today to find out which lens may be the right one for you.

Premium Lens Implants

Premium Lens Implants in Hoffman Estates, IL

Intraocular lenses (IOL) come in a variety of materials and designs. Our eye doctors generally choose a lens made of a material that is best suited to your individual vision need. Millions of cataract surgeries are performed annually in order to provide patients with clearer vision, better color contrast, and ultimately enhance their lives.

All intraocular lenses used at Sullivan Ostoich Eye Center are coated with UV filters. Some intraocular lenses are designed to be multifocal in certain lighting circumstances, which may enable patients to see both at distance and near without the need for glasses.

Sullivan Ostoich Eye Center in Hoffman Estates, IL offers the following kinds of intraocular lenses:

 

MULTIFOCAL IOL

Most cataract surgeries are performed on patients between the ages of 65 and 85, where patients likely face a blend of nearsightedness and farsightedness. In general, a person with presbyopia or farsightedness corrects their vision through either wearing progressive lenses or multifocal contact lenses.

Multifocal premium implants in cataract surgery have created an opportunity to correct a patient’s presbyopia as well as distance prescription. Standard monofocal implants are usually used to correct distance vision requiring readers for up close.

PanOptix IOL

The most recently approved premium IOL is the PanOptix IOL. The PanOptix is designed to correct distance vision, newspaper reading and middle distance without the need for glasses. However, some reading eyeglasses may be necessary for ‘medicine bottle’ size tiny print. In addition, the PanOptix IOL has a Toric version which corrects for astigmatism, enabling many patients to enjoy the benefits of IOL.

Click FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions

TORIC IOL

The Toric IOL is designed to correct astigmatism. If a patient has a cornea shaped like the side of a football (as opposed to like a baseball), the standard IOL will not be able to correct the vision totally and the patient may need to wear glasses after cataract surgery. The Toric IOL corrects this condition and the patients only need readers after surgery.

Discuss your options with the eye doctor during your surgical consult.

What Are Cataracts?

A cataract is a slow, progressive clouding of the eye's natural lens. It interferes with light passing through the eye to the retina.

Cataracts are caused by a change in the proteins of the eye, which causes clouding or discoloration of the lens. Over time cataracts typically result in blurred or fuzzy vision and sensitivity to light.

People with progressed cataracts often describe the sensation as looking through a piece of wax paper. A cataract may make light from the sun or a lamp seem too bright, causing glare. Colors may not appear as bright as they once did, however, most cataracts develop so slowly that people usually don’t realize that their color vision has markedly deteriorated. Gradual vision loss can lead to falls and fractures, which is especially serious for the aging population that cataracts typically affects.

Oncoming headlights may cause uncomfortable glare at night, making driving more difficult. There is a myth that cataracts have to “ripen’ before they can be removed. This was true before about 1930, when the surgical technique to remove cataracts was quite primitive and the surgical outcome was essentially awful, even in uncomplicated cases.

Patients essentially had to be blind from their cataract before surgery, so they could appreciate the poor vision that their very thick glasses provided afterward. These days, when the average cataract patient usually sees better after surgery than his peers who may have a minimal cataract, we wait until the patient finds that the cataract is interfering in his lifestyle.

Patients have cataract surgery because they are having difficulty seeing the golf ball, or reading the financial pages, or have difficulty driving at night. The most common response on the day after surgery is, “When can I have the other eye done?” followed by “Why did I wait so long?”.

arrow-circle-right-7-video arrow-circle-right-7-video-light Causes of Cataracts (click to show)
  1. Getting Older - Age is a major cause of developing cataracts.
  2. A birth defect like abnormal conditions in the eyes of unborn babies
  3. Environmental factors such as disease, toxic chemicals, medications
  4. Accidents or Injuries
  5. Exposure to ultraviolet light
  6. Cigarette Smoking
arrow-circle-right-7-video arrow-circle-right-7-video-light Cataract Symptoms (click to show)
  1. Need more light to read
  2. Frustration from bright lights
  3. Night Driving Problems
  4. Increased eyestrain
  5. Double Vision
  6. Cloudy, fuzzy and blurry vision
  7. Colors seem faded or yellowish
  8. Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription

Cataract Surgery

Using the most up to date methods and instrumentation, Dr. Sullivan typically performs cataract surgery using a small incision phacoemulsification technique. This means that the cataract surgery is accomplished using the smallest possible incision, and removal of the lens material is accomplished using an ultrasonic probe.

There is a common misconception that cataract surgery is done using a laser. This is not the case and has never been the case. The use of laser energy produces too much heat to be adapted for this purpose and would cause irreversible damage to the delicate tissues inside the eye.

Click the titles below to show more about each part of the cataract treatment process:

eyes senior man caucasian bw 1280×853
arrow-circle-right-7-video arrow-circle-right-7-video-light The Procedure

Following proper dilation of the pupil and preparation of the surgical area using betadine or other cleansers, a topical anesthetic is administered to the surface of the eye. An incision of 2.5 to 3 millimeters in length is then created at the junction of the cornea (the clear domed structure on the front of the eye) and the sclera (the white part of the eye).

Another dose of anesthetic is then administered inside the eye through this incision. The front part of the lens envelope, known as the lens capsule, is carefully opened so that the lens material can be removed. This is accomplished using a needle-like ultrasonic device, which pulverizes the hardened and yellowed lens proteins. The pulverized material is simultaneously vacuumed from the eye.

Once all of the cataract material has been removed, and assuming that the lens capsule which was opened at the beginning of the surgery remains strong enough to support the lens implant, a folded intraocular lens specifically chosen by the surgeon to suit your individual needs is then inserted through the original incision and maneuvered into the lens capsule and then centered. The lens will remain inside your eye in this location without moving. Intraocular lenses cannot be felt or sensed in any way by the patient.

In most cases, once the lens is centered within the lens capsule, the instruments are removed, and the surgery is therefore complete. Under most normal circumstances stitches (or sutures) are not required to keep the incision sealed.

arrow-circle-right-7-video arrow-circle-right-7-video-light Post Operative Recovery

Recovery from surgery is generally very quick, with most patients achieving noticeably better vision within the first 24 hours of the procedure. Patients are generally asked to use eye medications, administered as drops several times daily for the first few weeks after surgery. Patients should also refrain from eye rubbing during the first few weeks following surgery.

arrow-circle-right-7-video arrow-circle-right-7-video-light Eyeglasses After Surgery

If glasses are required following surgery to achieve the best possible vision either for close up work such as reading or for distance purposes, these will be prescribed three to four weeks after surgery when full recovery is expected. If both eyes are scheduled to have surgery within a few weeks of each other, then glasses, if needed, will be prescribed following the full recovery of the second eye.

Intraocular Lens Options

The intraocular lens comes in a variety of materials and designs. Your surgeon generally chooses a lens made of a material that is best suited to your individual situation. All intraocular lenses used in our practice are coated with UV filters. Some lenses are yellow in color. These lenses are theoretically better at blocking the light rays in the blue spectrum which are thought to be related to the development of macular degeneration in some patients.

Some intraocular lenses are designed to be multifocal in certain lighting circumstances, which may enable patients to see both at distance and near without the aid of spectacles. This effect has not been shown in all patients in whom the lens has been implanted, and it is once again important for patients to realize that while cataract surgery with intraocular lens implantation frequently results in a reduced dependency on eyeglasses it is never guaranteed to eliminate this need totally.

What is the crystalens® accommodative intraocular lens?

The crystals accommodating intraocular lens is an intraocular lens used after cataract surgery or as a lens alternative in presbyopic lens exchange. The concept of the lens was engineered with a hinge design to allow the optic, or part of the lens that you see through, to move back and forth as your focus on an image changes.

AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® IOL is an intraocular lens designed to give clear clear vision at all distances: near, intermediate, and far without needing glasses after cataract surgery. Once the surgery has been completed your eyes can focus on far or near objects in a comfortable way. If you are experiencing presbyopia or cataracts please feel free to consult us about the possibility of utilizing the new PanOptix® intraocular lens.

Restor Lens

FDA Clinical Trials Show 80% of Patients Are Spectacle FREE after surgery.

The AcrySof ReSTOR lens is a foldable IOL that represents breakthrough technology because of its unique, patented optic design, which allows patients to experience the highest level of freedom from glasses ever achieved in IOL clinical trials.

The AcrySof ReSTOR IOL uses a combination of three complementary technologies: apodization, diffraction, and refraction, to allow patients to experience a full range of high-quality vision without the need for reading glasses or bifocals. This range of vision without glasses is achieved through the optical properties of the IOL.

The benefit for patients is a high level of spectacle freedom. Alcon has patented the application of apodization technology to an IOL, making the AcrySof ReSTOR lens the first and only apodized diffractive IOL.

During U.S. clinical trials, the results with ReSTOR were remarkable:

  1. 80% of patients reported that after lens implant surgery with ReSTOR lenses, they no longer needed glasses or contact lenses to see clearly at all distances.
  2. 94% said they could drive and read the paper without contacts or glasses.
  3. Nearly 94% were so satisfied that they would have the procedure again.

What Happens If Cataracts Are Left Untreated?

If you have a cataract and choose to ignore it your quality of life will be affected. Your vision will deteriorate impacting activities like driving, and it will cause legal and even total blindness if ignored in the long run.

If you feel that your vision has deteriorated before your next routine eye exam be sure to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor now!

Discussing cataract surgery with your Sullivan Ostoich eye doctor is the best way to learn about cataracts, discover the best surgeons in your area, and get the most care for your eyes.

All About Cataract Surgery

We Perform Cataract Surgery In Hoffman Estates, Northwest Chicago

Cataracts are when the normally clear lenses of the eye cloud over. In a nutshell, cataract surgery removes this hazy lens and replaces it with a transparent artificial intraocular lens (IOL). At Sullivan Ostoich Eye Center, Dr. Kevin L. Sullivan is a board-certified ophthalmologist and surgeon, expertly qualified and highly experienced in performing laser and cataract surgery.

The main symptoms of cataracts are blurry vision and increased glare from lights. Sometimes these problems are so minor that they don’t disturb your daily life. However, when cataracts are more severe, they can impair your ability to live normally, such as:

  • Driving
  • Performing your job properly
  • Watch television
  • Climb staircases
  • Identify faces confidently
cataract illustration

Cataracts may also interfere with medical treatment of another ocular condition, such as diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration, as they can prevent a thorough eye examination of the back tissues of your eye. These are all reasons why your eye doctor may recommend cataract surgery. Dr. Sullivan will meet with you in Northwest Chicago to discuss your candidacy for the procedure.

Preparing for Cataract Surgery

There are a variety of types of IOL’s available, with different features. To determine the best option for you, it’s advised to discuss the benefits and risks of each type with your eye doctor or optometrist.

About a week before your scheduled surgery, an ultrasound test will be done to measure the shape and size of your eye. The procedure is relatively quick and totally painless. These measurements will help decide upon the most appropriate type of IOL.

You may be advised to discontinue specific medications prior to cataract surgery, in case they raise your risk of bleeding during the procedure. To decrease the risk of infection, antibiotic eye drops may also be prescribed for a few days. From 12 hours before the surgery, you may also be instructed not to eat or drink.

What To Expect During Cataract Surgery At Your Hoffman Estates Eye Doctor

Start to finish, the entire procedure generally takes one hour or less and is done on an outpatient basis. We’ll walk you through the basic steps of what to expect.

Your eye doctor will insert dilating eye drops and you’ll be given local anesthetics to numb the eye region. You may also be prescribed a relaxing sedative that will make you groggy but not put you to sleep.

The clouded lens will be removed and an artificial, clear IOL will be implanted. The implant is composed of either plastic, silicone or acrylic, and you will not be able to feel, see or sense it in your eye. It becomes a permanent part of your care and needs no care.

Immediately after the surgery, your vision will likely be blurry. This should improve within a couple of days, as your eye heals. You will not be able to drive yourself home after the surgery, so be sure to arrange a ride. You may also need help for about a week, for activities such as lifting and bending may be limited by your doctor.

Will I Need Glasses After Cataract Surgery?

One of the most asked questions after cataract surgery is, are glasses necessary? For this, and all typical questions regarding cataract surgery, ask your Sullivan Ostoich eye doctor!

What To Expect After Cataract Surgery

Within a day or two after the procedure, you’ll need to return for a follow-up eye exam with a member of the optometry team in our Hoffman Estates office. We are trained to provide quality co-management for cataract surgery.

Mild discomfort and itching are common complaints, and it’s important to refrain from rubbing or pushing on your eye. You may be given a protective shield or eye patch to wear on the first day, or for a few days after the surgery. Medicated eye drops may also be prescribed. Expect your complete course of healing to take about eight weeks.

This is a very common, safe procedure, and cataract surgery complications are not typical. If complications do arise, they are usually treated easily. Some possible risks include bleeding, infection, swelling, retinal detachment, glaucoma and loss of vision. If you have another ocular disease or serious medical condition, your chance of complications is higher.

The vast majority of people who undergo cataract surgery enjoy restored, clear vision as a result!

Contact us at Sullivan Ostoich Eye Center to schedule a consultation.